UBS Shocked To Learn Ratting Out Fellow Criminals Doesn’t Buy DOJ Immunity ~ ZeroHedge


Submitted by Tyler Durden

 

Back in 2012, when the first massive marketwide-rigging scandal made the front pages, that of Libor (one which Zero Hedge discussed first in January 2009 with “This Makes No Sense: LIBOR By Bank” and for which we won early points in the “you are a fringe tinfoil blog” category until proven correct as usual) the prosecution’s case was handed on a silver platter by one bank which hoped it would squeeze through the prosecutorial cracks by ratting out all of its heretofore complicit partners in crime: UBS.

And sure enough, UBS did indeed get away with a paltry fine, and the whole affair was quietly swept under the rug with a December 2012 settlement, in which the U.S. agreed not to prosecute the bank on the condition that it “commit no United States crime whatsoever” for the two-year term of the agreement, subsequently extended by an extra year.

Unfortunately for UBS, its reputation as a ratting squealer was all for nothing, because just over one year later UBS as well as virtually all the same banks that were manipulating Libor, were caught rigging that other massive, global market in secret online chatrooms such as the “Bandits” and the “Cartel”: foreign currency rates.

And also unfortunately for UBS which had sworn to commit no US crimes, it had just been caught committing at least one US crime. As a result, as Bloomberg reported earlier this week and as WSJ reported tonight, the US “Justice” Department is now tearing up and voiding the UBS 2012 settlement.

Actually, make that two crimes: “UBS also was viewed by the Justice Department as a repeat offender, having reached previous settlements including one in 2011 related to antitrust violations in the municipal-bond investments market.”

Actually, make that three crimes: “[Justice Department criminal division head Leslie] Caldwell’s message in the talks was stern: UBS was a recidivist having previously settled with the Justice Department over antitrust violations and had also obtained a deferred-prosecution agreement in 2009 to resolve charges it helped American taxpayers hide money overseas.”

Sure enough, UBS is shocked, shocked to find out there was criminal gambling going on in its world’s largest trading floor in Stamford, CT which is on its way to becoming a mini golf course. And again. And again.

UBS officials are confounded by the outcome, some of the people familiar with the negotiations said. The bank believes it provided early cooperation which helped prosecutors break open the foreign-exchange investigations and, as a result, was promised immunity by the antitrust division of the Justice Department.

But for prosecutors the punishment is seen as justified, the people said: The bank promised not to break the law in its 2012 deal and it violated those terms when its traders engaged in the currency-market misconduct after the 2012 agreement, they said. Prosecutors have been investigating whether traders colluded to move currency rates to benefit themselves to the detriment of clients.

We too would be shocked to learn that ratting out all our former peers and colleagues doesn’t pay off in the end.

The WSJ also adds, “the negotiations with the Justice Department are expected next week to result in UBS paying a fine of about $200 million to the Justice Department and pleading guilty to allegations that UBS traders manipulated the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, prior to 2012, according to some of the people.”

While the fine is paltry, the guilty plea will open the bank to a myriad of lawsuits from around the globe, which will surely result in billions of new recurring, non one-time “one-time, non recurring” legal fees, charges and further settlements as UBS is now open to litigation by anyone and everyone.

And while we applaud the DO”J” for doing its job for once, will it be too much just once not to assume everyone is an idiot and that clearly the DO”J” has a bias against foreign banks who are used as a buffer to avoid prosecution of domestic banks, which have mysteriously gotten away with virtually every criminal act known to man and mafia.

Such as JP Morgan for example. The same JP Morgan whose luck may have run out, because according to the WSJ, in addition to UBS, Barclays, Citigroup, RBS, and J.P. Morgan “are expected to plead guilty to criminal antitrust charges and pay between $500 million and more than $1 billion in penalties to various government entities, according to company disclosures and people familiar with the talks. On Thursday, J.P. Morgan disclosed in a financial filing that “any resolution acceptable to DOJ would require that the Firm plead guilty to an antitrust charge.”

Curiously, it is none other than JPMorgan who courtesy of Troy Rohrbaugh happens to be the Chairman of the Fed’s Foreign Exchange Committee.

We are confident, however, that JPMorgan admiting guilt to a criminal anti-trust FX rigging charge will have zero impact on, and no conflicts of interest whatsoever with it remaining head advisor to the NY Fed on all issues FX.

And while there are several things we can be absolutely certain of i) the banks will pay a few more billion in settlements here and there, and maybe UBS will be barred from competing with Goldman and JPM in fields in which the US banks feel there is “too much competition” (because a Lehman-type raid on a key competitor would not quite work out just now), and ii) nobody will actually go to prison, we have one question: just which umbrella agreement with US prosecutors will UBS use for that “other other other” market UBS was most recently caught rigging: gold.

Actually, if UBS made the price of gold drop with its gold-rigging, it may well be that the Swiss bank just may get a commendation by the US DO”J” for that one.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-05-14/ubs-shocked-learn-ratting-out-fellow-criminals-doesnt-buy-doj-immunity

USDA develops first government label for GMO-free products



2015-05-14

By Mary Clare Jalonick | apnews.myway.com


The Agriculture Department has developed the first government certification and labeling for foods that are free of genetically modified ingredients.

USDA’s move comes as some consumer groups push for mandatory labeling of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

Certification would be voluntary – and companies would have to pay for it. If approved, the foods would be able to carry a “USDA Process Verified” label along with a claim that they are free of GMOs.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack outlined the department’s plan in a May 1 letter to employees, saying the certification was being done at the request of a “leading global company,” which he did not identify. A copy of the letter was obtained by The Associated Press.

Right now, there are no government labels that certify a food as GMO-free. Many companies use a private label developed by a nonprofit called the Non-GMO Project.

Vilsack said the USDA certification is being created through the department’s Agriculture Marketing Service, which works with interested companies to certify the accuracy of the claims they are making on food packages — think “humanely raised” or “no antibiotics ever.” Companies pay the Agricultural Marketing Service to verify a claim, and if approved they can market the foods with the USDA label.

“Recently, a leading global company asked AMS to help verify that the corn and soybeans it uses in its products are not genetically engineered so that the company could label the products as such,” Vilsack wrote in the letter. “AMS worked with the company to develop testing and verification processes to verify the non-GE claim.”

A USDA spokesman confirmed that Vilsack sent the letter but declined to comment on the certification program. Vilsack said in the letter that the certification “will be announced soon, and other companies are already lining up to take advantage of this service.”

The USDA label is similar to what is proposed in a GOP House bill introduced earlier this year that is designed to block mandatory GMO labeling efforts around the country. The bill, introduced earlier this year by Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., provides for USDA certification but would not make it mandatory. The bill also would override any state laws that require the labeling.

The food industry, which backs Pompeo’s bill, has strongly opposed individual state efforts to require labeling, saying labels would be misleading because GMOs are safe.

Vermont became the first state to require the labeling in 2014, and that law will go into effect next year if it survives a legal challenge from the food industry.

Genetically modified seeds are engineered in laboratories to have certain traits, like resistance to herbicides. The majority of the country’s corn and soybean crop is now genetically modified, with much of that going to animal feed. GMO corn and soybeans are also made into popular processed food ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup and soybean oil.

The FDA says GMOs on the market now are safe. Consumer advocates pushing for the labeling say shoppers still have a right to know what is in their food, arguing that not enough is known about the effects of the technology. They have supported several state efforts to require labeling, with the eventual goal of having a federal standard.

Source: apnews.myway.com

redicecreations.com

Note: While this move from the USDA appears to be progress, I”m not convinced it’s any safer than allowing a wolf to guard the hen house. With bribes and kickbacks common practice with government regulators, it’s difficult to believe they won’t take “incentives” for overlooking violations that would ultimately threaten public health.

Missing Morgan Stanley trader found dead in Lake Ontario near Toronto’s Beaches


Doug Alexander, Bloomberg News
Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Murray Abbott, a Morgan Stanley adviser, was last heard from on April 25 in eastern Toronto. Toronto Police Service via Bloomberg

Toronto police identified a body found in the water near the city’s Beaches neighborhood as that of missing Morgan Stanley sales trader Murray Abbott.

Police are awaiting an autopsy before determining the cause of death of Abbott, who went missing two weeks ago, Detective Constable Neil Thornton said in a telephone interview Monday. His body was found around 6:40 a.m. floating face down just east of a water filtration plant, close to Queen Street East and Courcelette Road, according to earlier police reports.

Toronto Police marine unit officers remove the body found near the R.C. Harris Water Filtration Plant near Fallingbrook Road and Queen Street in Toronto on Monday. Laura Pedersen/National Post

Police had been searching the affluent neighbourhood along the shore of Lake Ontario for Abbott, who was last seen April 25. Abbott was a vice president in the capital markets group of Morgan Stanley’s Canadian wealth management division.

Abbott, 36, joined the New York-based bank in 2010 and earlier worked at Blackmont Capital Inc., a Toronto-based brokerage.

http://www.financialpost.com/m/wp/blog.html?b=business.financialpost.com%2F%2Finvesting%2Fmissing-morgan-stanley-trader-found-dead-in-lake-ontario-near-torontos-beaches

A Global Financial Reset Is Coming: ‘A Deal Is Being Made Between All The Central Banks’


central-banks-currencyThere is an unprecedented reset coming to world financial markets and if you’ve been paying attention it’s impossible to ignore the signs. In fact mega-investment funds, governments and central banks have been secretly buying up and storing physical gold in anticipation of an event that will leave the U.S. dollar effectively worthless and governments around the world angling for a new global currency mechanism, according to mining executive Keith Neumeyer.

But before the reset can happen Neumeyer, who recently founded First Mining Finance and has partnered with billionaire alternative asset investors like Eric Sprott and Rick Rule, says that foreign creditors must first deleverage their U.S. dollar debt, a move that is happening right now and is evidenced by the recent strength of the U.S. dollar.

Once these U.S. debt holders unwind their positions, however, the dollar will be allowed to crash and we should prepare for a total financial, economic and monetary realignment.


(Watch the full interview at Future Money Trends)

With the central banks now buying gold… which is quite unique… we haven’t seen that  in our lifetimes… they’ve always been sellers of gold and now they’re buyers of gold… I think there will be a reset of the financial industry… 

I think China is being allowed to accumulate gold purposefully by the American government… I believe that the Chinese need to own at least the same amount as the U.S. owns before this reset occurs. I think that there’s some kind of deal that’s being made between all the central banks behind the scenes and that’s why you’re seeing governments accumulating the metal.

I do believe there will be some kind of new currency created with the backing… and it might not be a direct backing of the metal… but it’ll be some kind of blend of currency.. it could be through SDR’s… Special Drawing Rights… or some type of mechanism… I think that’s where we’re going.

And when that reset occurs I think gold will be left to rise… and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see three…four… five thousand dollar gold over the next five years.

Because the price of gold has been suppressed to allow governments and central banks to accumulate it cheaply, Neumeyer sees opportunity in the mining industry and that’s why his latest mineral bank project is mimicking their actions and buying up physical mining assets around the world.

And though Western mainstream media pundits argue that the recent strength of the U.S. stock market and the U.S. dollar are proof positive that an economic recovery has taken hold, Neumeyer says exactly the opposite is happening.

The reason for the recent rise in the value of the world’s reserve currency, he suggests, is a result of the massive unwinding of U.S. debt as private investors and governments around the globe know a rush for the exits is coming soon:

The view on the strength of the dollar recently is the fact that it’s short-term. You’ve got so much U.S. debt out there and governments are now getting rid of their U.S. debt and converting all the debt to local debt… that’s causing a huge demand for dollars in order to make that conversion,so this whole dollar rally is basically a deleveraging against the U.S. dollar… you’re not seeing that story showing up anywhere in North America.

Once the world is deleveraged than the U.S. dollar… then basically the U.S. dollar will crash and that will be the beginning of this new reset.

Everything, of course, is very hush-hush but, as Neumeyer explains, most of the influential players involved know exactly what is going on and they are making their moves right now to ensure they survive the coming financial reset:

The gold accumulation that’s going on… this is gold that’s outside of the system… you don’t hear about it… these are big sovereign wealth funds, these are government funds, these are banks that are buying the physical metal… they are very intimately involved in the sector and they know what’s going on.

Definitely world governments and central banks around the world are unwinding their U.S. debt. They’re trying to bring their debt home and that’s causing the upside pressure on the dollar.

If Neumeyer is right, and all the signs suggest his assessment is fairly accurate, then the recent strength of the U.S. dollar will be short-lived. Once deleveraging by governments and central banks has been completed they will unleash an economic, financial and monetary storm that will change the very fabric of the global order.

The consequences are difficult to predict, but given that these entities have been buying up gold like their lives depended on it, the notion of an ounce of the precious metal being valued at $5,000 per ounce isn’t out of the question.

You can watch Keith Neumeyer’s full interview here. To learn more about theFirst Mining Finance Corp mineral bank project with billionaire contrarian investors Eric Sprott and Rick Rule, click here.

Courtesy of SHTFplan.com

Don’t forget to follow the D.C. Clothesline on Facebook and Twitter. PLEASE help spread the word by sharing our articles on your favorite social networks.

http://www.dcclothesline.com/2015/04/06/a-global-financial-reset-is-coming-a-deal-is-being-made-between-all-the-central-banks/

Michael Tellinger and Hope Girl ~ UBUNTU Contributionism and Free Energy


FTW Michael Tellinger Show Logo

UBUNTU is working! This is what ten years of philosophy and six months of physical labor look like when a real solution births its way into our physical world!

UBUNTU Contributionism is a model for a new social structure and global movement founded by scientist, explorer, and internationally acclaimed author Michael Tellinger.  Earlier this year, after six months of back breaking work, the first UBUNTU model community became  a reality in Michael’s small home town of Waterval Boven South Africa.  A vandalized building abandoned by the government has been reclaimed and renovated by the people of the town to become the Community Town Hall.  The new space will be utilized for a wide array of needed purposes including a movie theatre, school, community gym, and meal hall. The accomplishment of this feat acts as a real kick off to the many projects that will continuously develop as a living breathing model for the first operating UBUNTU community.

This interview is very near and dear to my heart. I learned about Michael and his amazing work a few years ago, and his research played a huge role both in my awakening process out of corporate America, and in the formation of the Fix the World Organization.  Fix the World and UBUNTU Contributionism share a lot of parallels in our foundational philosophy. Michael’s work has always been a huge inspiration to me personally, and in many ways has set a real example for all of us.

In this interview, I have a chance to speak with Michael about two topics that I am very passionate about; community and free energy.  Michael has completed the first portion of hard work in getting their community hall up and operating.  We compare notes on both of our experiences and reveal what it’s really like to run projects like this. We also touch on the world of alternative/free energy, and Michael presents an incredible solution that shows how free energy can unite a community instead of divide a community.

WATCH THE INTERVIEW HERE ON FIX THE WORLD TV:

player

 

Highlights from the Interview:

Working with Volunteers
While there were some amazing volunteers that came from all over the world and helped in a big way, there were also a lot of volunteers that came and caused a lot of damage.  Managing volunteers is a full time job and many lessons were learned on how to improve the experience in the future. This involves doing a lot of foundational work to get the projects started, and then having an organized set of specific tasks for volunteers to do with a designated volunteer coordinator to help manage the people.

Michael speaks about how opening up your project  to volunteers also opens you, your home and your life to infiltrators that come in under the guise of “volunteers” and who are there solely to undermine your project.  This is a common problem in this type of work, and we at FTW have had the same types of experiences.  Valuable lessons about this topic are shared in this interview for the many groups that are undertaking similar projects.

Alternative Energy
Michael like many others has been following the QEG project and we were able to give him a private demonstration of our QEG over skype.  This sparked a conversation about the experiences that Michael has had in the “free energy world” working with many inventors and taking part in various conferences around the globe.   In this interview, I asked how UBUNTU Contributionism would apply to building a free or alternative energy device.  Michael then laid out an amazing philosophy:

“This is where my philosophy and the current UBUNTU Contributionism philosophy on alternative energy devices is very different from most other people.

I oppose the creation of a small energy device that can be used by people in their individual homes. That is not my intention. I have come to the conclusion that the global collective consciousness is not ready to embrace that. It might sound really arrogant to people, but let me explain why I say that.

If tomorrow, some factory started manufacturing a 20 KW machine that anyone could buy off the shelf, you’ve got a serious problem. Because you clearly aren’t going to sell it cheap, so those that can afford it will buy it, and they’ll be ok in their own home. While the people that can’t afford it will be even poorer and there will be a bigger gap between the “haves” and the “have-nots”.  This is not a solution.

I am a strong proponent of a different approach. I believe that we need to create an energy device that is owned by the community. Whether it’s a bunch of smaller devices strung together, or one big device that runs a megawatt or more. This device should belong to the community so that everyone can get free electricity.

The community works together to collectively put the funds together to install that technology. Whether it’s something put into the river, or new exotic technology, or the QEG… whatever it is that the people can get their free electricity from.

This is what we are now promoting through our election campaigns for next years’ local municipal elections. We are promoting the fact that we are going to give our four towns free electricity, not by weird fancy technology, but by simply putting hydro turbines into the rivers in each and every town. And then we the people pay to install it, we run it and manage it, and it’s our electricity. Everybody gets free electricity, everybody benefits equally. In return for that free electricity, everybody has to contribute their three hours a week towards one of the community projects.

So you use the electricity to unite the people and not to divide the people. Now you are creating a community of abundance beyond your wildest imagination.   Everyone is happy, they have free electricity, and they can do things they couldn’t do before. They don’t have to be cold in winter and hot in summer. They can cook, they can read and study at night, they can do what they want and they love you for this.  They feel like they are part of the community because they are no longer marginalized and everyone is equal on that front.

And now you also have a labor force from the people that benefit from that electricity. In our town that would be about 3,000 people. So suddenly you’ve got 9,000 hours of labor a week. Just do the math. The amount of stuff you will create for your community is unimaginable! More food than we can eat, more clean water, more clothing, more wooden products, more metal things that we need. The roads will be clean, the parks will be spectacular. Not only that, then the money that comes in from the community projects belongs to the community. And everything that you create in those community projects, the food the bread etc., is free to everyone that participates.

So what this electricity device does, it really becomes the foundation in a society of people that can live virtually for free.”

(For those following the QEG project, FTW has been working towards implementing a similar philosophy through our Cottage Industry Community Units model, working with the local people in our community, and supporting communities that are crowdfunding to build a community QEG.)

UBUNTU For Local Elections:

UBUNTU  contested in the national elections in South Africa in 2014, in the UK elections in May of 2015 and is planting the seeds to contest in the local elections  in South Africa and also in Canada in 2016.

UBUNTU has a very good chance of winning the local elections in their municipality. This is a critical milestone that once reached can become a domino effect to influence other communities to apply UBUNTU principles and change our world for the better.   You can support the movement by visiting their site and subscribing with a monthly donation amount to help fund their efforts.  http://www.UBUNTUparty.org.za/

 

About UBUNTU:

The principles of UBUNTU Contributionism are outlined by its founder, Michael Tellinger, in dozens of documents, video and audio recordings and the book entitled UBUNTU Contributionism – A Blueprint For Human Prosperity, which has now become the founding document for the UBUNTU Movement globally. Anyone that has not read the book cannot claim to represent, or speak on behalf of, or claim to know the principles of Contributionism. While the circumstances of every community are unique, the foundation of Contributionism remains the same. We are moving to a world without money, barter or trade of any kind – where everyone’s contributions are respected equally and where everyone is given the freedom to contribute their natural talents or acquired skills for the greatest benefit of all in their community. We are developing a society where people work together in cooperation, rather than in competition against each other.

We are not creating self-sustained communities – we are creating much more – we are creating communities of abundance – where everyone has everything they need beyond our wildest imagination.

Visit The UBUNTU Websites:

http://www.UBUNTUparty.org.za/
http://www.UBUNTUplanet.org/


Purchase Michael’s Books on Amazon:

Temples of the African Gods
Slave Species of the Gods
Adams Calendar
UBUNTU Contributionism


REGISTER FOR MICHAEL’S WORKSHOP ON MAY 16TH!

Join Michael Tellinger for an intensive interactive on-line workshop and Q&A on May 16th Michael will be sharing crucial information about UBUNTU and Contributionism philosophy; experiences from the first year of launching the community projects; alternative energy; UBUNTU UK & UK Elections; what we have learnt in the past year – other topics and questions from the participants.

Join us for this historic event to lay the seeds of consciousness across the planet. Tickets are $12 and you can register here: www.PortalTOAscension.org

11053353_919843934740494_4397939916186300669_n
http://fixtheworld.podbean.com/e/michael-tellinger-and-hope-girl-ubuntu-contributionism-and-free-energy/

Crystal Geyser’s New Bottled Water Plant To Open At Foot Of Mount Shasta


File (Credit: Bill White)

May 10, 2015 3:16 PM

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – A new Crystal Geyser Water Co. plant opening at the foot of Mount Shasta is adding to criticism of companies that are bottling water in California’s drought.

Crystal Geyser plans to eventually tap up to 365,000 gallons a day from groundwater in Northern California’s Siskiyou County, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Sunday.

Converted from an old Coca-Cola bottling plant, the facility will become the latest of 108 bottling operations by various companies in the state, the Chronicle reported. Operations are due to start this fall.

Crystal Geyser executive vice president Judy Yee said Crystal Geyser officials are in contact with local residents to ensure its groundwater pumping “will not impact the environment in any detrimental way.”

Resident Raven Stevens, however, says she fears groundwater pumping by the bottled-water plant will use up the water that she and her neighbors depend on for their households.

“Crystal Geyser in one day plans to pump more water than any three of my neighbors will use in an entire year,” Stevens said.

California law in general places no limits on the amount of groundwater that property owners can pump, although legislation passed last year will start phasing in regulation of the most endangered aquifers after 2020.

Grass-roots objections to bottled water companies tapping and selling groundwater are increasing as California’s drought moves deeper into its fourth year. Bottled-water companies tapping into groundwater on their own property are exempted from the 25-percent mandatory water cutbacks that Gov. Jerry Brown ordered for cities and towns earlier this spring.

“Bottling water is a legal use of water under the law,” said Nancy Vogel, spokeswoman of the California Department of Water Resources.

While local officials say the water bottling operation will bring jobs, some residents object to the heavy water use.

Joyce Kyle, 77, told the Los Angeles Times that she and her family have lost grazing business because local water authorities have restricted use of her property’s water.

In the drought, “everybody’s suffering, not just the people in the lower half of the state,” Kyle said. “Letting Crystal Geyser come in and draw down groundwater, it’s not right.”

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.

http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2015/05/10/new-bottled-water-plant-to-open-at-foot-of-mount-shasta/#.VVDBY9QW2O0.facebook

How Wal-Mart Makes An Instant 65,724% Profit Selling… California Water ~ ZeroHedge


Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

 

Wal-Mart is facing questions tonight after CBS13 learns the company draws its bottled water from a Sacramento water district during California’s drought.

According to its own labeling, the water in the gallon jugs appears to come from Sacramento’s water supply.

Sacramento sells water to a bottler, DS Services of America, at 99 cents for every 748 gallons—the same rate as other commercial and residential customers. That water is then bottled and sold at Walmart for 88 cents per gallon, meaning that $1 of water from Sacramento turns into $658.24 for Walmart and DS Services.

– From the CBS News in Sacramento article: Wal-Mart Bottled Water Comes From Sacramento Municipal Supply

We all know there’s a severe drought plaguing much of California. I haven’t focused on this topic much, but I did publish a very powerful post on it last fall titled: Video of the Day – Stunning Scenes from California’s Central Valley Drought. I suggest checking it out if you missed it the first time.  

Now we learn of some pretty troubling news that Wal-Mart is sourcing some of its bottled water from the Sacramento water supply, despite the fact that: “Sacramento-area water districts are preparing to enforce residential water-use cuts as high as 36 percent.”

As we all know, you should never let a historic drought get in the way of corporate profit margins; and these appear to be some really nice margins. We learn from CBS News in Sacramento that:

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Wal-Mart is facing questions tonight after CBS13 learns the company draws its bottled water from a Sacramento water district during California’s drought.

According to the label, the water comes from the Sacramento Municipal Water Supply. This comes on the heels of Starbucks opting to move sourcing and production of its Ethos bottled water from California to Pennsylvania.

While the label reads Great Value, the fine print reveals the bottled water is anything but a deal, especially for Sacramento residents.

Sacramento sells water to a bottler, DS Services of America, at 99 cents for every 748 gallons—the same rate as other commercial and residential customers. That water is then bottled and sold at Walmart for 88 cents per gallon, meaning that $1 of water from Sacramento turns into $658.24 for Walmart and DS Services.

Shouldn’t the residents of Sacramento at least share in some of the profits earned if the municipality is going to sell its precious local resources to a mega corporation?

Elmets wonders if this perfectly legal business operation will get a big thumbs-down from California consumers. This comes as Sacramento-area water districts are preparing to enforce residential water-use cuts as high as 36 percent.

“It’s certainly leaving a bad taste in everyone’s mouth when you can’t fill up a swimming pool, if you’re building a new home in West Sacramento; you can’t water your lawn if you’re living in this region. And to find out they’re making a huge profit off of this, it’s just not right,” Elmets said.

Meanwhile, let’s not forget…

Walmart Admits in its Annual Report that its Profits Depend Heavily on Corporate Welfare

Let’s see if the people of Sacramento have the will or ability to do anything about this.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-05-11/how-wal-mart-makes-instant-65724-profit-selling-california-water

Milan Expo, Rioters in Milan shout “Eat the Rich”, smash shopfronts, throw smoke bombs as Expo opens


Note: This is what they’re preparing for in America, “they” know it’s coming….

Clashes overshadow start of Milan Expo

Milan has been waiting since 2008 for this day and now it has finally come—but takeoff for the World Expo 2015 looks to be overshadowed by violent protests.
The turnstiles and doors officially opened on Friday in Italy’s commercial and fashion capital.

But opening day excitement for the six-month-long commercial event wasn’t necessarily present among the crowds on Friday. The wet weather may have dampened the number of visitors to the event on its first day—with noticeably empty entrances and security checkpoints.

Meanwhile, thousands of protesters marched through the streets of Milan behind a banner reading “No Expo, Eat the Rich,” according to Reuters.

The No-Expo movement has been critical of the amount of money the government has poured into the event, when there are fears of austerity and cuts to public services.

A large anti-expo march through the center of Milan was overtaken by anarchists groups that smashed shopfronts and clashed with police.

There were several banks with smashed-in doors and windows and the streets were strewed with detritus.

Teargas was used by riot police to try and disperse parts of the crowd. Although most of the march was peaceful, around 200 demonstrators threw rocks, in addition to setting off flare and smoke bombs,

Russia Asks Greece To Join BRICS Bank ~ ZeroHedge


Tyler Durden's picture

As if the discussions in Brussels and Athens were not mired in enough uncertainty, Bloomberg reports that a Greek official confirms:

  • *STORCHAK ASKED TSIPRAS FOR GREECE TO JOIN BRICS BANK: OFFICIAL

The pivot appears to continue. Reportedly, Tsipras was pleasntly surprised by the proposal.

As Bloomberg reports,

Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak spoke with Greek PM Alexis Tsipras today, proposed that Greece become 6th member of New Development Bank set up by Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, a Greek govt official says in e-mail to reporters.

Tsipras said keen to discuss matter in St. Petersburg Economic Forum June 18-20, with leaders of BRICS countries.

Tsipras was pleasantly surprised by proposal.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-05-11/russia-asks-greece-join-brics-bank

Ed. Note: My favorite question over the last year for those still “asleep”, who get their news from non alternative sources, is: “Have you heard of BRICS?”. Not one person to date has said yes – and some of those people are highly intelligent and actually consider themselves well informed on economic matters. Yet, they’re clueless that a new gold backed financial system is currently being erected from the Eastern world and that the U.S. is being isolated because the rest of the world is fed-up with the cabal’s banking cartels, taxation, usury and being bullied by the US military.

You gotta hand it the cabal, they’re Masters at the game of deception. The fact that the propaganda media has kept BRICS completely out of the news is quite a feat, and one that is clearly reveals most people in the U.S. are about to get the rug quickly pulled out from under their feet. They’re completely unprepared for what’s coming in this game of smoke and mirrors….

On Graduation Day… One Student “Gets It” ~ ZeroHedge


Tyler Durden's picture

With the class of 2015 graduating with a record amount of debt, one hopeful student appears to recognize her fate all too well…

 

h/t @FedPorn via @V BeardedMiguel

*  *  *

Dear Class of 2015,

Because we recognize your plight, allow us to provide you with a bit of friendly advice as it realtes to your student loans. Once you are uncerimoniously thrown from your dorm into the less-than robust US jobs market, you will likely discover that contrary to what you were told in your economics courses, the US economy is but a shadow of its former self. Because you probably didn’t study to become a petroleum engineer, you will likely find your student debt burden to be quite onerous. The key to having it discharged is to make just enough money to stay clear of bankruptcy, but not enough to really survive above the poverty line. This is because it’s hard to have student debt discharged in the event you go completely broke. However, if your discretionary income is so small as to render you incapable of making payments, the government will start you on a program whereby a monthly payment of zero dollars counts towards the 300 “payments” you need to make to have your debt forgiven. Toe this line carefully (i.e. don’t slip up and start making too much discretionary income) and the entirety of your student debt will be forgiven in 25 short years without your ever having to pay a dime.

You’re welcome,

Zero Hedge

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-05-11/graduation-day-one-student-gets-it

A Multinational Trojan Horse: The Trans-Pacific Partnership ~ ZeroHedge


Link submitted by Andre Hodge
By Tyler Durden on 05/09/2015

Submitted by Dave Pruett via Like The Dew blog,

“The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, … may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.” – James Madison in The Federalist Papers.
You don’t have to know much about the “trade” deal called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to be more than a little suspicious.

First, there are the very peculiar bedfellows. Supporting the TPP are President Obama and most Congressional Republicans, the same Republicans who’ve vehemently opposed his every initiative for the past six and one-half years.

Against the TPP are most (but not all) Congressional Democrats, Ford Motor Company, virtually all trade unions and environmental groups, watchdog groups such as Public Citizen, and usual Obama allies such as Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, who, in a testy open letter to the President on April 25, called for greater transparency on the TPP.

Furthermore, when asked to lend his support for so-called “Fast Track” authority for the TPP, Obama water-carrier and former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid chafed, “So the answer is not only no, but hell no.”

Also opposed: liberal icon Noam Chomsky, Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders, Republican hopeful Mike Huckabee, many Tea-Party groups, and conservative Republican editorialist and former presidential candidate Patrick Buchanan. Conspicuous by silence: Hillary Rodham Clinton.

What’s going on here? Why the strange alliances?

Peel back the layers of the TPP and you’ll find what some believe to be a “corporate Trojan horse.” Disguised as “free trade,” the TPP’s provisions and tactics undermine Constitutional safeguards and national sovereignty. But there’s also a silver lining. The TPP exposes who, in the marbled halls of political power, is working for whom. It forces politicians to put their cards on the table, and by their hands you will know them.

In a recent interview, Chomsky called each word false in the euphemism “free trade agreement.” There’s nothing “free” about it. With nearly 30 chapters, only a half-dozen or so about international commerce, it’s not really primarily about “trade.” And, having been conducted in secret, shielded from the watchful eyes of the public and their congressional representatives, it’s hardly a broad “agreement.”

Every citizen has an obligation to find out what’s in this “deal.” That’s difficult, because the Obama administration has decided to treat TPP documents as classified. Indeed, we know the outlines of the TPP only because of leaks.

For a quick primer on what is known, start with former Labor Secretary Robert Reich’s two-minute video. Follow with Pat Buchanan’s op-ed “Obama’s Republican Collaborators.” And finish with Amy Goodman’s 13-minute interview on Democracy Now! with Public Citizen’s Lori Wallach.

If you still haven’t made up your mind, read the chilling “The Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Death of the Republic” by Ellen Brown of the Public Banking Institute. Is it all hyperbole, or could things be as ominous as they seem?

The TPP, which involves 12 nations and 40% of the earth’s trade, has been called “NAFTA on steroids.” (NAFTA, recall, was the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement of 1993 negotiated during the Clinton Presidency). Every such agreement has been sold to the public by the promise that free trade floats all boats. What’s the reality? According to Buchanan, “… almost all [the big trade agreements] have led to soaring trade deficits and jobs lost to the nations with whom we signed the agreements.” Over the past four decades of free trade, America, cites Buchanan, has lost 55,000 factories and 5-6 million manufacturing jobs, all while racking up $11 trillion dollars in trade deficits.

So, who, if anyone, benefits by so-called “free trade?” Only the multinational corporations set “free” to scour the earth for the hottest sweatshops and the cheapest labor. Free trade is a global race to the bottom.

Given the dismal track record of such deals, one would expect future agreements to be negotiated in the light of day by representatives of all stakeholders. So, who’s at the table crafting the TPP?

“The Administration’s 28 trade advisory committees on different aspects of the TPP have a combined 566 members, and 480 of those members, or 85%, are senior corporate executives or industry lobbyists,” the Warren-Brown letter asserts. “Many of the advisory committees — including those on chemicals and pharmaceuticals, textiles and clothing, and services and finance — are made up entirely of industry representatives.” Absent from that table are all congressional representatives.

In April, the Obama administration began the process of petitioning Congress for “Fast Track” authority on the TPP. Some believe that Fast Track (which originated with Richard Nixon) is executive usurpation of Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution: “The Congress shall have the power… to regulate commerce with foreign nations.” An end run around Congress, Fast Track minimizes oversight and public debate. It cedes negotiating authority to the executive branch and then binds Congress to an up or down vote, severely constrained by time and without adequate discussion or filibuster.

Where are the hair-on-fire Republicans incensed over the imperial presidency of Barack Obama? Firmly in Obama’s camp! The self-proclaimed party of the Constitution, the family, and God seems only too happy to sell out all three to its prime constituencies: Wall Street and K-Street. Buchanan admits the painful truth: “Fast Track is the GOP payoff to its bundlers and big donors.”

The most troubling aspect of the TPP, asserts Ellen Brown, is the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provision, which “first appeared in a bilateral trade agreement in 1959.” Brown continues:

According to The Economist, ISDS gives foreign firms a special right to apply to a secretive tribunal of highly paid corporate lawyers for compensation whenever the government passes a law … that [negatively impacts] corporate profits — such things as discouraging smoking, protecting the environment or preventing nuclear catastrophe.
Imagine a scenario in which the U.S., coming to its senses about climate change, imposes a revenue-neutral carbon fee on fossil energy. According to provisions of the TPP, a fossil-fuel company in a signatory nation could then sue the U.S. for lost profits, real or imagined.

The threat is not idle. In 2012, the U.S.’s Occidental Petroleum received an ISDS settlement of $2.3 billion from the government of Ecuador because of that country’s apparently legal termination of an oil-concession contract. Currently, the Swedish nuclear-power utility Vattenfall is suing the German government for $4.7 billion in compensation, following Germany’s phase-out of nuclear plants in the wake of Japan’s Fukushima disaster.

The ISDS provisions of the TPP are insidious: the means by which signatory nations voluntarily surrender national sovereignty to the authority of corporate tribunals, without appeal, and apparently without exit provisions. No wonder the negotiations are secret.

Packaged as a gift to the American people that will renew industry and make us more competitive, the Trans-Pacific Partnership is a Trojan horse. It’s a coup by multinational corporations who want global subservience to their agenda. Buyer beware. Citizens beware.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-05-09/multinational-trojan-horse-trans-pacific-partnership

VIDEO: Ku’e Petition Comes To Mauna Kea


To learn more on Hawaii’s hidden history and Kanaka Maoli’s fight to restore the Hawaiian Kingdom see: www.Manaoha.org

MAY 3, 2015: Ku’e Petition comes to Mauna Kea. Video by David Corrigan, voice of Sherry Bracken

MAUNA KEA – On Sunday, supporters of the Mauna Kea Hui and the Ku Kia’i Mauna movement drew a visual connection between the current fight against the Thirty Meter Telescope and their long sovereignty struggle.

At Pu’u Huluhulu – at the base of the Mauna Kea Access Road – many gathered to pay homage to the kupuna who first took a stand as far back as 1897. Hundreds of names written on small signs were dispersed around the grounds. The names are the ancestors who first stood against annexation by signing the Ku’e Petitions. Over 21,000 adult native Hawaiians joined the effort. Their names were gathered from across Hawaii, by foot, boat, and by horseback. The petitions were hand-carried to Washington and delivered to the United States Senate. The petition convinced congress not to sign a treaty of annexation between the U.S. and the Republic of Hawaii, which took over after the overthrow of Queen Liliuokalani on January 17, 1893.

In July 1898 – during the Spanish-American War – The Republic of Hawaii was annexed under the Newlands Resolution, a joint resolution of congress. To this day, many Hawaiians insist that the Newlands Resolution is no substitute for a legal treaty of annexation, and therefor Hawaii is under a prolonged occupation by the United States. The question over who has the legal right to lease lands – especially the crown lands of Mauna Kea – is one of the driving factors in today’s opposition to the TMT project.

We interviewed political scientists Dr. Keanu Sai a few weeks ago on the subject.

The Ku’e Petition was nearly lost to history; the population has only recently become educated about this chapter in Hawaii’s history.

On Sunday, gathering in tents by the ahu along Saddle Road, families of the Ku’e petitioners consulted with the records and looked for the names of their kupuna within documents. Later, in the cold mist and rain, the hundreds of names were placed in the lava field. Some – by coincidence – stumbled upon the names of their ancestors as they worked… an emotional moment for many, young and old.

The names of the Ku'e Petitioners on display at Pu'u Huluhulu.

http://www.bigislandvideonews.com/2015/05/04/video-kue-petition-comes-to-mauna-kea/#sthash.BuuurnuQ.dpuf

Sparks fly at hearing for TMT protesters


HOLLYN JOHNSON/Tribune-Herald TMT protester Danette Godines speaks to District Judge Barbara Takase (not pictured) Thursday in Waimea.

WAIMEA — It was round two in court Thursday for Thirty Meter Telescope protesters arrested April 2 on Mauna Kea. But unlike the earlier court proceedings last month in Hilo, numerous defendants came out swinging.

Thirty of the 31, who call themselves “protectors” of Mauna Kea, appeared in Hamakua District Court in Waimea. They were joined in the tiny courthouse by an overflow crowd of more than 100, some of whom viewed the hearings from outside through the building’s screened jalousie windows.

One, Keoni Payton, a 39-year-old Kaneohe, Oahu, resident, was a no-show, as he was on April 28 in Hilo. Judge Barbara Takase issued a bench warrant for his arrest for contempt of court and set bail at $400. She also ordered forfeiture of his $250 bail on a charge of disobeying a police officer. His arrest, and those of the others, stemmed from the blockade of Mauna Kea Access Road in an attempt to prevent construction of the $1.4 billion observatory on the mountain they consider sacred.

Some face a charge of disobeying a police officer, others face charges of trespassing or obstructing a roadway, all petty misdemeanors punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

Moanikeala Akaka of Hilo demanded the hearings be moved back to Hilo. “Are you just trying to give us a hard time because of the role that we’re playing in the community?” she asked Takase.

Another Hilo resident, Danette Godines, said holding the hearings in Waimea presented a hardship and took issue with being asked to come back June 18 for further proceedings.

“On April 28 we were supposed to be given our arraignment and plea,” she said. “I drove for over two hours, just for you to tell me to turn back around and come back another time? No. This is wrong. … This is undue harassment.”

Godines said she’d “like to hold this court in contempt of the law.”

Hawaiian sovereignty also was brought up by several of the defendants, including Akaka.

“As far as I’m concerned, this court has no legal authority over me,” she said.

Lakea Trask of Hilo said he’d “like to object to this whole process” and said he complied with the order to appear “under duress.”

“I’m only here, in distress, because of the threat of force,” he said.

Oahu attorney Dexter Kaiama, who represented numerous defendants, asked that hearings for some of his clients include a Hawaiian language interpreter, because his clients want to exercise their right to speak in Hawaiian. One, Chase Kahookahi Kanuha of Kailua-Kona, addressed the court in Hawaiian.

“Mr. Kanuha, I can’t understand you, so I can’t respond to you,” Takase replied.

Some defendants entered not guilty pleas while others deferred entering a plea until a later court date. Most were given June 18 return dates; others were told to return July 2.

Anastasha Dandelion Luttrell of Hilo engaged in several testy exchanges with the judge, who threatened to hold her in contempt of court. Takase warned her and others if they continued to argue or speak out of order she would find them in contempt.

As she did at the April 28 hearing, Takase granted refunds of the $250 bail to several defendants. The judge again denied the return of Luttrell’s bail money as she did at the first hearing after Luttrell said she had transportation problems. That prompted an outburst from Luttrell.

“I’d like to know why my bail’s being denied,” she said, loudly, as she was restrained by co-defendants.

Gov. David Ige has announced a temporary moratorium on TMT’s construction while hoping to reach agreement with those who oppose the project.

An emailed statement after the hearing from one of the defendants, Craig Neff, said the group was “wrongfully arrested for practicing aloha ‘aina and exercising our rights to protect our sacred mountain and precious elements from further desecration.”

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaii tribune-herald.com.

http://hawaiitribune-herald.com/news/local-news/sparks-fly-hearing-tmt-protesters

Testimony on Mauna Kea UH Board of Regents, Part 2


April 26, 2015 testimony to the University of Hawaii Board of Regents part 2

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Update: All exotic animals from Tiger Safari in Tuttle have been found


Whew!! Interesting post-storm news story from tornado alley. Thank goodness the animals were found, an exotic animal on the loose in rural Oklahoma would likely get shot and hung on the wall as a trophy. Seriously, that’s “Deliverance” country…

UPDATE: The Grady County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that all of the animals have been accounted for.

TUTTLE, Okla. — The owners of Tiger Safari have confirmed that some of their exotic animals are on the loose.

The wildlife refuge was hit by a tornado in the May 6 storms, and some of the animals have escaped.

The refuge houses more than just tigers, but residents in the area are asked to stay inside.

If you see any of the animals, please call 911.

http://kfor.com/2015/05/06/exotic-animals-from-tiger-safari-on-the-loose-in-tuttle/

Pennsylvania judge sentenced to 28 years in prison for selling teens to prisons


April 29, 2013

Disgraced Pennsylvania judge Mark Ciavarella Jr has been sentenced to 28 years in prison for conspiring with private prisons to sentence juvenile offenders to maximum sentences for bribes and kickbacks which totaled millions of dollars. He was also ordered to pay $1.2 million in restitution.

Guilty and going to prison for 28 years

abc.com

In the private prison industry the more time an inmate spends in a facility, the more of a profit is reaped from the state. Ciavearella was a figurehead in a conspiracy in the state of Pennsylvania which saw thousands of young men and women unjustly punished and penalized in the name of corporate profit.

According to allgov.com Ciavearella’s cases from 2003 – 2008 were reviewed by a special investigative panel and later by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and it was found that upwards of 5,000 young men and women were denied their constitutional rights, and therefore all of their convictions were dismissed and were summarily released.

During his sentencing Ciavarella was defiant, claiming he had broken no laws and claimed the money he received was a legitimate ‘finder’s fee.’ Assistant U.S. Attorney Gordon Zubrod said comments such as these were typical of Ciavarella, according to the local reporting of citizensvoice.com:

I think that’s his way of doing things. Never retreat. Always go on the attack. Always blame somebody else. Always get them to back off. He tried it with the judge. It didn’t work.

Thank you for reading. Please follow me on Facebook.

http://www.examiner.com/article/pennsylvania-judge-sentenced-to-28-years-prison-for-selling-teens-to-prisons

Jon Stewart and his wife are turning NJ farm into a sanctuary for rescued animals


by , 05/03/15
http://www.facebook.com/plugins/like.php?href=http://inhabitat.com/jon-stewart-and-his-wife-are-turning-nj-farm-into-a-sanctuary-for-rescued-animals/&layout=box_count&show_faces=false&width=60&action=like&colorscheme=light&height=45It’s pretty much the understatement of the century to say that Jon Stewart, departing host of The Daily Show, has a lot of fans. However, Stewart will gain some new fans as he prepares for his post-TV days, and a lot of them will be furry. Stewart and his wife, Tracey, have purchased a New Jersey farm and plan to turn it into an animal sanctuary, where rescued farm animals can live out their natural lives in peace. Can you hear the collective “awwww” from animal-loving fans of The Daily Show?

farm sanctuary jon tracey sheep

This isn’t a whim for the Stewarts. The pair have been compassionate friends of animals for many years, and Tracey was quoted in a press release saying that “promises of animal shelter visits in exchange for completed homework are the norm in the Stewart household.” Raising their two children to have respect and compassion for animals is a key part of the Stewarts’ efforts to ensure that future generations of animals will have the protections they deserve. They’ve also adopted a menagerie of animals as a family over the years, including four dogs, two horses, two pigs, three rabbits, two guinea pigs, two hamsters, one parrot and two fish who, as Tracey told USA Today, were “all rescues.”

Related: Yoda the piglet escapes the slaughterhouse, finds love and safety

On The Daily Show, Stewart has used his position on more than a few occasions to help educate people about the deplorable conditions farm animals endure and to call for a greener planet. Among the most memorable is this eight-minute segment from February of this year in which Stewart skewered New Jersey Governor Chris Christie over vetoing a popular gestation crate ban. More recently, Stewart’s thoughtful interview with Farm Sanctuary founder Gene Bauer illustrates the comedian’s personal interest in animal welfare.

To recognize all of the Stewarts’ efforts for the animals over the years, Farm Sanctuary named a pair of newly-adopted sheep after the couple. Tracey the sheep recently gave birth, and the sanctuary adorably dubbed her offspring Hazleton. Their human counterparts will also be honored at a Farm Sanctuary event to be held in October.

Stewart will leave The Daily Show in August of this year, leaving a gaping hole in our hearts where witty criticism of the American political system once was. With the news of the farm-cum-sanctuary on the horizon, it’s a little unclear what other projects Stewart might undertake after ending his 16-year-reign of the funniest news show in history. We can’t help but wonder (hope) about the possibility of seeing Jon Stewart involved in the next presidential election from a different point of view. Vote Stewart in 2016? We’d consider it!

Via Philly.com

Images via David Shankbone and Moomah

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